Review Rundown: Anew Revolution, We Are the Fallen, Nonpoint, Chasing Jones & Anchored

This Review Rundown is bringing the rock – music that is. Today we will take a look at new releases from Anew Revolution, We Are the Fallen, Nonpoint, Chasing Jones and Anchored.

File Under: Melodic Hard Rock from Texas
Anew Revolution – “iMerica” (E1): While Anew Revolution lost a bit in translation while transitioning from their debut EP “Revolution” to full length “Rise,” losing a bit of the exciting raw intensity and replacing it with something more of a forced sound, there wasn’t much lost on the band’s latest melodic hard rock clinic, “iMerica.” Now, much of that can be accredited to the band returning more to their roots in terms of sound and song structures, some of that credit should be tossed the way of producer Ben Schigel (Drowning Pool, Chimaira). No offense to uber-famed producer Mudrock, who handled the mixing board duties for “Rise,” but Schigel sounds as if he grasped the bands core sound better and was able to harness it successfully on wax. The resulting product is “iMerica,” the bands strongest work to date. Anew Revolution sound hungrier this time around, more visceral and naturally aggressive throughout “iMerica,” a record predicated on the bands ability to construct effectual, towering hard rock tracks around melodic, anthemic hooks that just beg for the listener to sing-along (‘Grey, ‘ Social Suicide,’ ‘Life’), though ANR is not afraid to switch gears, effectively slowing the pace in order to tug at the old heartstrings (‘Take Me Over’). It should be no small secret by now that frontman Joey Duenas has long had a voice built for hard rock, dating back to his Unloco days, and if you’re yet to discover it, first, a big shame on you, but now’s your chance. All in all, “iMerica” is truly all killer and no filler (a gold star for you if got the Sum 41 reference). You’ll be hard pressed to find any un-noteworthy tracks here folks. (
Grade: A
Go Download: ‘My Sacrifice’

File Under: Nu-Metal Band Now More Metal than Nu
Nonpoint – “Miracle” (954 Records): There’s a good chance you may have not known that Nonpoint is still an active band. Well, they want you to remember that fact quickly, and don’t waste too much time doing so with their latest and sixth studio, release “Miracle.” Opening track ‘Shadows’ will quickly remind you about everything there is to like about these guys, but something has to be said right away – “Miracle” houses a cover of Pantera’s uber-classic and deliciously hate riddled track ‘Five Minutes Alone.’ Honestly, the cover is so unbelievable that you, as a reader, should not be kept in suspense. And to make things even easier on you, its track 9. But just because the band enjoys cover songs (see 2004’s killer version of Phil Collins ‘In the Air Tonight’), doesn’t mean that the rest of the record isn’t worth your time. The disc boats some of the strongest songs the band has penned together, including “Frontlines” and “Throwing Stones.” Frontman Elias Soriano delivers one of his best vocal performances on the slick track “Electricity,” and speaking of frontmen, Mudvayne/Hellyeah’s Chad Gray guests on lead single “Miracle,” one of the albums brightest spots. Oh yeah, he also produced the disc alongside not only the band themselves but also Greg Tribbett (guitarist Mudvayne, Hellyeah). The record sounds as if Nonpoint wants to prove something to the rock world, that they still have legs as a band and gas left in the tank to match up to the rest of the scene, but whatever it is they are out to prove, “Miracle” certainly does just that. “Miracle” is the first Nonpoint disc not to feature guitarist Andrew Goldman, who left the band shortly after the release of 2007’s “Vengeance,” since being replaced with Zach Broderick, but to tell you the truth, you probably wont notice the difference. The band sounds refocused and reenergized, a sound they haven’t truly possessed since their 2000 major label debut “Statement,” but briefly flashed at times during 2005’s “To the Pain.” It shouldn’t be much of a stretch to say that “Miracle” is one of; if not the, best releases the Jacksonville, FL products have dropped on us yet. (
Grade: A
Go Download: ‘Five Minutes Alone’

File Under: Ben Moody & Co. - Not Evanescence
We Are the Fallen – “Tear the World Down” (Universal Republic): “Tear the World Down” is an emphatic statement. It is a sheer force, a tidal wave of sound that will completely engulf you at each and every turn, one that rarely lets up, but when it does be sure you collect yourself because rest assured you’re going under again. Ben Moody got the old team back together in guitarist John LeCompt and drummer Rocky Gray and replaced the once-thought irrevocable Amy Lee with the baroque voice that is Carly Smithson. Hey, nearly the same formula worked once before, so why not go to the well again? The result is the band’s debut masterpiece “Tear the World Down.” Sure, the comparisons to Evanescence’s “Fallen” are there, that much is obvious, but don’t simply say, ‘hey these guys (and girl) sound like that other band and that one album,’ because that would be ignorant of you, and unfair to “Tear the World Down.” Of course those comparisons are going to always dog WATF. It is near impossible to not be affected by this record, or moved in some fashion. Its heavy sound takes melodic hard rock and alters it with ethereal atmospherics and a gothic tinge, a sound you aren’t hearing much of today. With Smithson’s critic tested and approved booming voice, you’d expect there would be some ballads on “Tear the World Down,” an expectation that is answered resoundingly. The ballads are both immaculate and exceedingly powerful (‘Sleep Well My Angel,’ ‘I Will Stay,’ ‘I Am Only One’), literally jumping off the record at you, leaving an unshakeable lasting feel in their wake. “Tear the World Down” can surely bring the heavy as well - look no further than songs ‘Burn,’ ‘Through Hell’ and the brilliant ‘St. John’ (a song which probably won’t, but should, garner song of the year clamors). Man, American Idol should be kicking themselves. The game show obviously has no idea what they’re doing to begin with, but honestly, David Cook and David Archuletta, and not Smithson? Sure, Cook is all well and good but he isn’t this. But if you think about it, if she did win Season 7 of Idol, we wouldn’t have We Are the Fallen, so that’s that. This group sounds here to stay and “Tear the World Down” is above and beyond the real deal, a record that should immediately be heralded as one of the years finest. (
Grade: A
Go Download: ‘St. John’

File Under: Standard Fare Pop Rock
Chasing Jones – “Stay Tonight:” There’s a little bit of Telling on Trixie here in Chasing Jones latest EP “Stay Tonight,” and a little bit of perhaps, say, Vertical Horizon and even more recent Third Eye Blind (think “Blue” or “Ursa Major”). The vocals are a pop gem in hiding, one that’s as-yet-undiscovered, but that could all change soon once people finally hear Chasing Jones, or better yet, read this review, well, hopefully. Not one of these songs could classify as not enjoyable, or even anything close for that matter, and even though this EP is just a five song clip, there really isn’t a dull moment. Honestly, you should find yourself hooked after the opening track ‘Anniversary.’ The songwriting is top notch, and the bands ability to craft relatable lyrical story arch’s shines through prominently, while the concise structures won’t lose you. “Stay Tonight” is a thoroughly capable release; one that is hooky, and toe-tapping all the same. It shows promise and should be the start of a beautiful friendship between Chasing Jones and your ears. (
Grade: B
Go Download: ‘Anniversary’

File Under: Southern Hard Rock
Anchored – “Listen to This” (Trynd): Denton, Texas’ Anchored make no bones about their roots. They’re from the South, Texas to be exact, and if you don’t like it, they don’t really seem to care. They’re a straight ahead rock band that plays things pretty much by the book when it comes to composition and song structures – passionate vocals gleaming with honesty, relevant and lyrical storytelling, and life-size guitar riffs that fuel big time hooks that are easy to get behind. So, suffice to say, there is a lot to like about the bands debut disc, “Listen to This.” If nothing else, Anchored did give us a potential new anthem for skin clubs everywhere, album opener ‘Dirty in Texas.’ Hey ladies, tell the DJ to press play, then get on the runway and go do your thing. With “Listen to This,” these southern boys sound ready for the bright lights and big stage through incredibly appealing melodies (‘Savior,’ ‘Bad Timing,’ ‘You’), and do the right thing by going out on a high note with closing track ‘My World,’ a song that sounds inspired by bands like Saliva and Theory of a Deadman. Give it some time, but Anchored might just be one of the best rock bands ‘the Lonestar State’ has offered us since it gave us all a little band named Drowning Pool. (
Grade: A
Go Download: ‘Last Night’